What's your oldest favorite movie?

Another movie question from Eve. What’s the oldest movie you’ve really liked and could watch again and again? I’m gonna throw out a number of 'em here—

• “The Whole Damm Family and the Damm Dog” (1905). Very funny little two-minute movie, with great inventive subtitles, hilarious performances. OK, it’s not an epic, but it’s cute. And ya gotta love the title.

• Anything with Max Linder, a funny (and very handsome!) French comic who made hundreds of films from 1905-25. For a bio and photo of him, click http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~pringle/silent/ssotm/Aug96/

• The earliest feature film, I guess, would be Cecil B. De Mille’s “The Cheat” (1915). It’s an inter-racial romance starring Sessue Hayakawa and Fannie Ward—and surprsingly, the white woman is the villain, the Asian man the hero!

So, how’s about y’all?

Wings, 1927.

Nosferatu, 1922?


"You know how complex women are"

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Hey Eve, I’m super swamped as usual, but had to respond to your thread instead of those other ones!

I could watch “Now, Voyager!” over and over again. That movie rocks.

“All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.” Stephen Wright

So far, I totally agree with everyone—I love “Wings” and “Nosferatu.”

And Sax, not only do I love “Now, Voyager” (I’ll loan you the novel), but it is almost eerily the story of my life . . .

—Aunt Charlotte

Great Race - 1936???

Stupid people surround themselves with smart people. Smart people surround themselves with smart people who disagree with them. - Isaac Jaffee

“Birth of a Nation”

The legislature scene especially tears me up.

And what about those cuculate “heroes,” riding off to the strains of “Die Valkyrie.”

There was a sequel “Fall of a Nation,” but I don’t know if there are any surviving prints.

Anything with Lon Chaney. The man was phenomenal. Unfortunately, I believe that many of his movies are also lost forever.


I thought Ms.Bankhead delivered a credible performance. Wonder why she made so few movies?

Escapism! Love the Fred & Ginger stuff and the Thin Man. Also like the old Charlie Chan.

The General

In a previous thread the “Hollywood” documentary from Thames was recommended. You have to search for a few minutes but Amazon has the whole set for $102.
In that documentary is a “meeting” of Linder and Chaplin where they do takeoffs of each other.
If you can find it in your library or through ILL (a service of your library) “Billy Bitzer, His Story” is a fun read from D.W. Griffith’s master camraman.

Monkey Business, 1930. (Big surprise, huh? ;))

42nd Street – 1932. The only problem with it (at least to my modern eye) is that the musical numbers are really overextended. But in terms of the script and attitudes, it’s a lot less dated than movies made ten years later, and I love it.


An Affair to Remember

“Do or do not, there is no try” - Yoda

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Self-Righteous Clique *


Would’ve loved to hang out at Rick’s Cafe Americain. I think I would fit in with that crowd very nicely.

…send lawyers, guns, and money…

       Warren Zevon

There are probably some earlier movies, but off the cuff, to mention a movie I would watch again and again, I would say
City Lights, with Charles Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill, 1931.

The boxing match! The opening scene, with Charles Chaplin found asleep on the statue, and trying to stand at attention but his pants are caught in the statue’s sword! When as a street sweeper, he tries to get away from the horses, and ends up behinda parade of elephants! The last scene, when the blind girl recognizes him!

People may call Chaplin dated and sentimental, but I still think he’s one of the greatest. (Of course, I still haven’t seen a Buster Keaton film yet! But I’m not ignoring the recommendations I’ve got, and I have “The General” on order from http://www.kino.com Uke, thanks again for the information.)

Both from 1939

Gone With the Wind

The Wizzard of OZ

Yer welcome, AW.

Hmmmmmmmm…I have no overwhelming desire to see JUDITH OF BETHULIA or BIRTH OF A NATION or INTOLERANCE again. Anything before that is cheating, Hollywoodwise, anyway, as the earlier movies were so short that repeat viewings are not a big problem.

Not to sound like a D.W. Griffith freak or anything, but my EARLIEST pick would probably be 1919’s BROKEN BLOSSOMS, with the luminous Lillian Gish, David Barthelmess in yellowface, and Donald Crisp as the Evil Boxer Dad.

I have not yet seen THE CHEAT, but would like to. So, Eve, I’ve read that Sessue Hayakawa* BRANDS the white chick as his personal property…how does this fit in with his “hero” status?

– Uke

  • You movie buffs who insist on watching talkies will recognize Sessue, forty years older, as the Japanese prison camp commandant from THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI.

Umm, it’s “Richard” Barthelmess, Ike . . . I shouldn’t have said that; next time, you’ll just LET me go over the falls . . .

Yep, Sessue does indeed brand Fannie with a white-hot iron, but she has it coming. I’ll loan it to you if ya want.

And don’t brush off pre-1914 films till you’ve seen “The Whole Damm Family and the Damm Dog!”

Oh, and Cat, you’re right, “42nd Street” is terrific—if you like that, you should look for “Footlight Parade” and “Gold Diggers of 1933,” also in the same vein.

Citizen Kane
Hey Eve, I acutally found something pre 1950 that I like!!! :slight_smile:


The question is ambiguous.

  1. The movie that’s been a favorite the longest is DR. STRANGELOVE, which I first saw when I was 12 and thought was the best movie I’d ever seen. (Good taste at a young age, if I do say so myself :slight_smile: )

  2. The oldest movie I count among my favorites is any one of several Chaplin shorts: THE PAWNSHOP, THE IMMIGRANT, BECHIND THE SCREEN. Oldest full-length feature is either THE GOLD RUSH or Keaton’s THE GENERAL.

  3. Oldest sound film – 42ND STREET or FOOTLIGHT PARADE. All Hail Harry Warren!

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